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Friday, December 10, 2010

Acting Fire Chief Bashoor Has Busy First Week

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief spokesperson, 240-508-7930, mebrady@co.pg.md.us

Monday, December 6, 2010, was the first day of work for Marc S. Bashoor in his capacity as Acting Fire Chief. He attended the swearing-in ceremony for County Executive Rushern Baker, visited several Fire/EMS Stations, made and received countless phone calls and e-mails and attended the Inaugural Ball. All that in one day’s work and he had not yet even stepped into his Largo headquarters office. That changed Tuesday with what has seemed to be a series of non-stop events, incidents and meetings.

County Executive Baker and Acting Fire Chief Bashoor meet with the
Fire/EMS Department Command Staff  at the Largo Fire/EMS Department HQ.
Bashoor is no stranger to Prince George’s County and the Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department. He grew up and attended high school in Bowie. It is also where he began his career in the fire service as a member of Bowie Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad for six years. He also volunteered his time at the Bureau of Fire/Rescue Communications before being hired full time as an Emergency Dispatcher. He continued his career path when his aspirations of being a career Prince George’s County Firefighter became a reality in 1981. His assent through the ranks continued during his 23-year span with the Department and had attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel of Operations when he retired in 2005. During his time with the Department he received numerous commendations including a Silver Medal of Valor in 2004. Ironically, the Silver Medal was bestowed upon Bashoor for his handling of his last major incident as the Operations Commander just prior to his retirement – the multi-alarm fire of the County Court House in Upper Marlboro in November 2004. Upon his retirement, Bashoor and his family moved to West Virginia where he has spent the last 5 years as the Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security in Mineral County West Virginia.

Marc is a tenured fire service instructor, serving as an adjunct instructor with the Texas A&M University, National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center. He also serves as an adjunct instructor with the Emergency Responder Safety Institute as well as with the Regional Education Service Agency in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Marc was recognized by the Maryland Police Training Commission as an Incident Command System subject-matter-expert in 2003, and has achieved State of Maryland and National Pro-Board certification as a Fire Officer IV, Fire Instructor III, and Fire Inspector I. Concurrent with his West Virginia duties, Marc has been working for the past three years as a consultant with the United States Veterans Administration Central Office in Washington DC to assist with the development of continuity plans and National Incident Management System implementation across the Veterans Administration. Additionally, Marc served as a West Virginia member of FEMA's Technology Transfer Working Group.

Acting Fire Chief Bashoor’s first week in office has been non-stop. He has made unannounced visits to Fire/EMS Stations greeting personnel and taking the opportunity to ask their views about the Department. Each and every member he has spoken to was posed a question and asked to complete the sentence; “If you were Fire Chief, I would_______.” He invites everyone, including our citizens and residents, to fill in the blanks and let him know what they would do if they were Fire Chief.  Send in your response by clicking the highlighted sentence.

Acting Fire Chief Bashoor addresses the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association
at their meeting in Upper Marlboro as Association President Bill Smith looks on.

Bashoor has held nearly 2 dozen meetings with individuals and groups at the Department's Headquarters in Largo and attended several meetings outside of HQ including the monthly meeting of the Prince George’s County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association in Upper Marlboro. He has also observed two fire ground operations at house fires in Suitland and Bowie.

One of his first official acts was to change the Departments motto from “Keeping It Safe” to “Safety First-Everyone Goes Home.” The newer motto is intended for citizens, residents, visitors and members of the Fire/EMS Department and is a reminder that safety is a priority in whatever you do and ensure that everyone makes it home every day. Acting Chief Bashoor is prepared to make changes to the organizational structure of the Department to help streamline and operate more efficiently.

The first week of his tenure as the leader of the Fire/EMS Department has been constructive and just because there is an upcoming weekend does not mean that Acting Fire Chief Bashoor and the administrative work and planning will take a break. Expect to see the lights on at Fire/EMS Department Headquarters for some time.

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